Getting to Know You!: Rodgers and Hammerstein Favorites by Richard Rodgers, Rosemary Wells (Illustrator), Oscar II Hammerstein
Reading level: Ages 4-8
This curious little picture book sets out to accomplish the odd--but surprisingly worthwhile--task of assembling some classic Rodgers & Hammerstein lyrics into a kid-friendly, sing-along format.
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Getting to Know You! samples songs from some of the Broadway duo's better-known musicals (Oklahoma! , Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I), acting them out with a cast of cute animals playfully illustrated by Rosemary Wells (Max's Bath, etc.). You might need to hit the video store to recall the tune to a few of these (like Oklahoma!'s "Farmer and the Cowman"), but most of the 16 songs--from "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" to "Some Enchanted Evening"--should be memorable enough to get you singing within the first few words. For the rest, Getting to Know You! even includes a staple-bound songbook tucked into the back cover, which includes sheet music and complete lyrics for all the songs.
Given that Rodgers & Hammerstein won countless awards for their musicals (including two Pulitzers and armfuls of Tonys, Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars), maybe it's not so surprising that the lyrics adapt well into any format. If nothing else, it's hard to argue with any book that can get your kid belting out, "I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair!"